Recording on a macbook 5400rpm

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by psp, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. psp macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2007
    Hi I currrently have a macbook pro 17" 2.33 and 3 gig of ram and a 200 gb drive @7200 rpm..the computer screen is having issues and not under warrenty unfortunately...regardless i am going to buy a new macbook.

    Here is my question. Because I record audio on my computer via a USB device I have always been told to buy a laptop with a drive at 7200 rpm. However, I want to save some I want to go with the 15" screen but now the question of drive speed. Maybe I dont need the macbook pro anymore..just a regular macbook however there drives are only listed at 5400rpm.

    Can you get a macbook with a 7200 rpm or would this kill battery time..currently i only get 2 hours with my macbook pro 17"

    Anyone recording audio with no problems at 5400 rpm?

    So going form a macbook pro 7200 rpm to a macbook 5400..would I notice a big difference?

    WOuld i gain battery time with a macbook but loose on drive long as there a now glithces in single track recording I think i would be ok.

    Mainly using logic and garge band...anyone can comment on audio recording on a 5400 drive macbook?

  2. deej999 macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2009
    How many tracks will you be recording simultaneously? If it's one or two you should be fine with a Macbook.

    I'd take a look at the white Macbook with firewire and get a firewire device like an Apogee Duet.

    What's your usual track count in Logic... plug-ins... mainly audio or Software Instrument tracks?

  3. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    Single track works fine on my 5400 RPM PB drive. I have not tried more than 1 track.
  4. psp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2007
    max recording 2 tracks at a time... i run about 10 tracks max in logic or garageband before i mix down...not even that many really..once i add effects i usually mix down...just a hobby really

    I have been using a firewire 800 storage drive but usually for back up. It has 3 connections USB, 400, 800. I used to record directly to it via the 800 port..but i like the protability of the laptop and usually now just record to the internal drive...less wires keep it simple. USB audio device (Line 6 toneport).

    So everything im reading says 5400 is ok for a few tracks...

    just trying to save some money ...arnt we all
  5. deej999 macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2009
    I used to record two tracks simultaneously using Logic 6 to a Powerbook g4, 1 ghz, 1 GB ram, 5400 rpm drive running about 10 plugins (including reverbs) and a couple of software instrument tracks and a couple more audio tracks.

    5400 rpm drives are faster than they used to be... sounds weird. Don't know the science... but they spin or smthng in a different way.

    Recording to an external drive will give better performance.
    Keep at least 20% of startup drive space free
    Go easy on space designer plug-ins.. you can always disable them if needed.

    Personally I'd go for a new white macbook. It has firewire.. so you can connect to your external HD at speeds better than USB and you can get a good audio interface too. USB is not so hot. It has a good graphics card now & It'll save you more money so you can max out the ram to 4GB :)
  6. psp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2007
    5400rpm drives are faster than they used to be? Thats odd...

    I noticed some HD of eb*y for like $75 for the macbook computers..and they are like 320GB @7200rpm for like $75 ..hmmmm maybe i should just upgrade??? on a new system.

    It seems sooo much less expensive to buy a bare bones macbook and get a good drive put in and load it with ram. Is it my understanding that the warenty wouldnt cover this new drive and ram if I were to put it in?
  7. deej999 macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2009
    5400 rpm drives spin and are manufactured in a different way to the "previous generation" so they are faster at accessing files etc.. apparently. I've never tested this though.

    I'd go the 7200 rpm drive in a macbook... but I think if you get an independent engineer or install it (or do it yourself) it will invalidate the warranty.

    Regardless of whether you have a 7200 rpm drive or not, Logic will run better if you place your projects and samples and record to an external HD (firewire).
    But, again, if you are only recording two audio tracks simultaneously I doubt you will have a problem recording to the startup drive at all!
  8. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    5400 drives are faster the more data they can store. 465 GB drives are faster than 232 GB drives, as they are more dense, because they hold more data in the same volume.

    And yes, Apple doesn't any third party hardware you build into your machine. But it still warrants the rest.
    So if you chose to buy HDD and RAM yourself, don't ged rid of the HDD and RAM that was inside. If you've a problem with your machine and it needs to get into repair, you should insert the Apple HDD and RAM, so your new RAM and HDD won't get lost.
  9. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    It will not make the Apple guarantee invalid if you exchange your RAM and HDD for yourself, as long as you don't damage anything during the process.

    It's quite easy to swap HDD and RAM on the white MB, and also on the Unibody MB, only the RAM is more inaccessible (you have to screw more).
  10. DarthTreydor macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    I record just fine using a MacBook with a 5400 rpm drive. I play all my own instruments myself so I rarely use more than 2 tracks simultaneously. Except when I record drums but I save that for my mac pro.
  11. psp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2007
    Thanks for the replies. I think I will get a macbook (unibody) with a 5400 drive and swap in a new faster and larger drive and load it with ram.

    Oh will the 7200 RPM drive kill the battery life. In other words were these unibody computers designed to run on 5400 RPM drives? Anyone who has done the switch able to comment on this?

    Thanks All

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